A state senator who floated the idea of commemorating Utah’s most famous gun maker with a state holiday on the same date as that honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. said he’ll seek another date because of backlash he faced this week.
Instead, Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Lehi, said he’ll ask veterans’ groups if they would like to share either Veterans Day or Memorial Day, and will ask the LDS Church if it’s appropriate to share the July 24 Pioneer Day state holiday with the late Ogden gun inventor John M. Browning.
Madsen said he had never officially chosen Martin Luther King Day — the third Monday in January — for his legislation, but considered it because it falls near Browning’s birthday. He blamed media reports of the idea for derailing it before he had a chance to talk with black leaders.
“I kind of stumbled into racial politics,” Madsen said, insisting he meant no slight to King.
The legislation, which Madsen still is drafting, would piggyback on another holiday to avoid costing the state a day of lost work.
The Salt Lake chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People roundly rejected any joint holiday for King, and particularly objected to one with a gun maker.
“Dr. King was assassinated, and he was assassinated with a gun,” said Jeanetta Williams, NAACP chapter president.***
“Certainly there was a shot that killed Dr. King,” Madsen said. “On the other hand, there’s been many shots fired from Browning firearms that have saved tens of thousands — hundreds of thousands — of American lives.”
It is worth remembering that as awful as the national Republicans are, the local ones- the ones you live with- are even worse. Also in Utah news, my favorite Republican in the world, Chris Buttars, has some new legislation– getting rid of 12th grade to save money.
Obligatory Chris Buttars quote:
Buttars doesn’t disregard evolution completely, rather he believes God is the creator, but His creations have evolved within their own species.
“We get different types of dogs and different types of cats, but you have never seen a ‘dat,’ ‘’ he said.
I guess if you got rid of every science class and replaced the lectures with a note card that says “Because God says so,” you could probably get everyone out of high school by the end of ninth grade. Even with a couple days off every year for MLK/Browning Day.